Grand Cru Winter Reserve - Flying Fish Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

502 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 502
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 6
Gots: 50 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 09-14-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 502 | Reviews: 227
Photo of pkalix
2.09/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

my first flying fish....
pours a bland gold with no head.
the aroma has got me prejudiced- i dont like it. tinny, rusty, not like a belgian ale at all in my book. one more sniff... cant define it. a fishery, maybe??
taste...? yeah, the candied sugar is there. yeah, the 'belgian' undertones are there... but i dont think i like it.
my bottle is purple and doesnt look anything like the one on the BA site. also the label says 6.9% but BA says 7.2%
i found the website; the brew is just very new. not on BA yet. i still dont like it. it could be great, but there is just a nasty little smell/taste that is giving me much hesitation. i'm trying to be fair with each drink/taste. and the weird thing is, it is a FISHY taste/smell. i dont know what more to say. i have 2/3 down and i'm going to toss the rest. i dont know how to rate this one. i get the distinct style and taste of a brewer and i appreciate that, but i dont like this at all. can i give it a 2 for the abv??? and for what i percieve to be a nice attempt? i like the write up on the website. i get the description. there is just a funky little taste (spice?) that ruins it for me. and maybe this review belongs in a new format as i interpret it to be a 'new' brew rather than the one pictured. but look how much i described in fairness to the brew- i tried to be fair. somebody send me a line if you disagree, please...

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a glass chalice.

L - clear golden color with a white head that thinned to a ring.

S - candied sugar, yeast and some spice.

T - nice blend of sweetness, yeast and some peppery spice finishing somewhat dry.

F - medium bodied with a smooth, easy drinking feel.

O - a fine example of the style.

Photo of Durge
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this at the Somerset Hills Tap Room in New Jersey. It's a clear
yellow amber color with a healthy white head and decent lacing. The aroma offers
a very pleasant banana-clove blended with sweet nuttiness and biscuit/cereal
grain goodness. Very inviting. The flavor brings a bit milder, fruitier theme
with light grass and subtle spice/nutmeg notes. Pretty delicate and quite
drinkable for the style. It's medium-light bodied with a frothy, smooth feel and
a fine but full carbonation. A very easy to like winter option.

Photo of ranger60
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had a 5 oz sample on draft at Tap Room in Warren, NJ.

Appearance: light golden color, long lasting very white head with tight bubbles.

Smell: fruity and spicy

Taste: I was surprised and picked up some bitterness right away. was not expecting that...? but really good blend of hops and spiciness.

Mouthfeel: smooth at first, but then a quick carbonation it.

Overall: a pretty good representation of a Belgian style ale.

Photo of fmccormi
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; freshness date of April 5, 2013 printed in white ink near the bottom-left corner of the label (“04-05-13”). Not sure when this was bottled, then, but the Flying Fish website lists this as a seasonal available from November to February, so my guess is this was bottled in early November or December, making it about one or more likely two months old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (3.5): A full two fingers of very fine-grained, bone-white foam comes off the pour, capping a glowing orange-amber body that’s evenly hazy throughout. Moderate retention and very modest lacing, leaving some scattered suds on one side of the glass and no real lacing. Body’s pretty, head’s a bit lacking but not unexpectedly so.

Smell (4.0): Prominent clove and fruit character (pear and kind of a sweet, red candy apple) with a bit of coriander underneath, no pepper to speak of but still spicy. Despite the relatively low ABV, there’s something like a boozy character in there, too. A very pleasant nose.

Taste (3.5): The booziness in the nose melds well with the fruity esters from the yeast in this beer, turning the pear and apple notes into something almost lemony with a tart edge. The malt is plain, blonde, and moderately sweet, as would be expected of a typical BSPA: biscuity with a candi sugar sweetness underneath. There’s a somewhat floral, modestly bitter hop character in the finish. Nothing too surprising, but it’s pleasant. Surprisingly boozy for the size of the beer.

Mouthfeel (4.0): The carbonation is nice and smooth, neither prickly nor particularly tingly but active and filling with a nice, full, foaming action on the way down. The booziness on the palate helps dry out the finish, which without it would be a bit syrupy from the candi sweetness in the malt profile.

Overall (3.5): This is a decent beer, don’t get me wrong. It’s doing everything more or less right, but it’s not really bringing anything new or notable to the table, either. It’s also surprisingly boozy for the size, which doesn’t particularly bother me but it’s a little unexpected. All in all, it’s a decent Belgian Pale that’s not quite BSPA but a little strong, in character and content, for a BPA.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Popping the top I get a very fresh wheaty smell. Some candy, spice and zesty. Pours into the perfect pint with a nice thick foamy head and a slightly cloudy golden color. Taste is sweet upfront with a zesty hoppiness. The taste gets drier in the middle then finishes with a flat sweet bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is spot on. THis is a great holiday winter warmer with lots of zest and fresh flavor.

Photo of caulfield
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Light golden appearance with a white head

Smell - citrus, yeast, spices

Taste-There is a slightly citrusy taste with a top note of spices (coriander). However, the taste is somewhat light.

Mouth -Light mouth feel. Feels almost like a dubbel. They've nailed the Belgium style.

Overall - I have to be honest, I wanted to like this more than I did. The taste is subtle, but I'd like a Belgium-style with a more substantial flavor. Overall, its not bad, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a clear medium to light gold and produced a half an inch of bubbly white head. It dissipates fast leaving good lacing.
The smell tells of malt, banana, lemon and spice.
Tasting the beer the front is a refreshing fruity hop character, very mild, but present. The banana favor mingles with the winery spices like nutmeg, coriander and spice. The malty backbone is present throughout the tasting. The finish is a warming tingle that is very pleasant.
I am positively surprised by this beer. It was better than expected. Very drinkable medium to light winter warmer. Great job!

Photo of KTCamm
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Publick House in Chester NJ, in a Sam Adams octoberfest glass.

Pale yellow color with good head of white foam. Lots of lacing. Cloudy. Nose is light fruit, with some hints of spices. Taste is a moth mellow blend, fruitiness blended with a sugary malt. Light hop holds throughout.

Tasty blend, good lunchtime brew.

Photo of spinrsx
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Las Vegas for 0.99$ on sale

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Lemon/oranges, grains, yeast, coriander/cloves

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lemons/oranges, banana, grains and a bit of yeast. There is also a bit of a clove/coriander spiciness and a bit of vinegar/rust/funk. It ends with a corn syrup and coriander/clove slightly tart aftertaste.

Overall - Pretty good stuff. The scent was nice and the taste had a little bit of a funk that made it interesting. Glad I picked this up and I'd drink it again anytime.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 2 finger thick head on a murky golden with crimson hue body. Excellent head retention and some lacing.

S: Strong belgian yeast, candy, banana and pineapple aroma.

T: caramel, banana, belgian yeast/esters and green apple mostly. bubblegum and corriander notes in the background.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation. semi-dry finish as expected.

Overall: This genre seems to vary quite a bit with some more on the saison side, some on the tripel side and others on the belgian strong ale side. This one is more in the tripel realm by my tastes.

Photo of KAP1356
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a mixed 6 pack fr Christmas and this was one of the beers. Poured into a Russian River cervoise...

A - Pours a slightly cloudy gold-yellow color with a one finger off-white head that left some nice lacing. The head receded pretty quickly.

S - The aroma is the classic estery notes I've gotten used to in Belgium ales; banana, some green apple and that classic bubblegum aromas. Some slight spice comes through as well with a really solid malty backbone.

T - The flavors are fruity banana, green apple and some more bubblegum. Yeasty with a pale malt backbone. Nothing really outstanding, but nothing terrible either.

M - Lighter bodied beer that has a low carbonation. Slightly dry finish that makes the mouthfeel my favorite part of the beer.

O - Not bad and not great. Was nice to get to try, but I wouldn't rush back to try it again.

Photo of facundoCNB
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - slightly cloudy honey orange with nice initial amount of head.. head quickly disappeared and formed a foamy rim around the glass

S - bready/yeast, citrus, sweet malts, slight smoke tones

T - sweet, wheat, citrus, bready, spices.. there is something really unique about this beer's taste that i really really like i just can't put my tongue on it (pun intended)

M - perfectly carbonated, crisp and refreshing with a sweet yet dry finish

O - not quite sure why this is a winter reserve, i can picture having this beer year round. i like this more than their other belgian style ales.. lots more distinct flavors.

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured slightly chilled in flared glass

A: clear, dark yellow; frothy, high head; good carbonation; good lacing
S: yeasty aroma, all Belgian
T: not sweet; strawlike overtones; peach and apple tones dominate; heavy on the yeast and bottle conditioning
M: a bit watery

overall, not bad, quite good actually

Photo of jayhawk73
2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright orange color with a thin off white head on my snifter glass. Smell is grass, hops, fruit. Not bad, but not nearly as good as the best in the style category. The taste is just not right for this style to me. Yeast, alcohol are added to the nose profile.. but, it's WAY too sweet. Not a fan of the taste. The feel is thin, syrupy, with a little bit of an undercarbonated vibe. Overall, this is fairly mediocre. Probably won't look for this again. Cheers.

Photo of rwrk42
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: A golden yellow color with a nice foam head that doesn't last too long
Smell: Sweet caramel with a wonderful malty smell. Slight dark fruit aroma
Taste: Very smooth and malty. Nice mouthfeel. Sweet malt flavor and caramel undertones with some dark fruit & spice
Very good....would recommend.

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recent bottle from New Jersey drive through. Pours an opaque peachy colour with tiny retained head. Belgian yeast aroma, with malt and fruitiness. Average mouthfeel, tingling mouthfeel. More complex flavour profile as it warmed. Satisfying and drinkable.

Photo of keanex
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice from a fresh 2011 12 ounce bottle.

A: Clear amber with a thin white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Light slight fruits with a faint smell of spices.

T: Light notes of ripe fruit and light sweetness from the malts, very simple and easy to drink.

M: Full bodied with light fizzy carbonation.

O: Decent seasonal at a decent price ($7.99 a 6 pack). Worth trying once at least.

Photo of KyleVick4
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pint glass

A: Cloudy with no particulate. Thick head that quickly dissipates and leaves sub-par lacing. Murky honey color is less than appetizing.

S: Spicy smell of coriander/anise. Yeasties in there also but not as strong as the spice.

T: Nothing special here, spiciness hinted by in the nose is present but pretty bland through and through. A very subtle sourness in the aftertaste reduces its drinkability. No hint of the high ABV.

M: Well carbonated and thick, fairly heavy. Fits the style.

O: Meh, I'm not disappointed I bought it, but I'm not thrilled either. Nothing special here.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Smith pint glass. Served chilled.

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow color along with a somewhat dinky half-finger eggshell color head with poor retention, but decent lacing.

S: Has an interesting cross between a phenolic, yeasty, smell of fruity ale esters (bubblegum, apple, banana), spices, and a noble hop aroma. Works decently enough.

T: Opens nicely with a subdued hit of apple, bubblegum, coriander, and banana. The finish, though, falls flat on its face with a withering, murky bitter aftertaste. ABV is hidden well, at least.

M: Somewhat low carbonation for this type of beer. The body is surprisingly light and has a slightly dry finish.

O: Not bad at all, but it doesn't really impress me. Having said that, I'd be willing to give it a second chance if it were served at room temperature. Otherwise, this isn't something I'll purchase in the future.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a translucent to opaque dark goldenrod-orange with a small white head. Nice retention, the remnants last a long time, no real lace.

S: Anise initally, a good amount of pear, estery.

T: Good malt flavour matches with a really interesting pineapple play with yellow apple, pear and white pepper. Nice mix of flavours, well made.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy carbonation, there's just an ease in the body, it's a big beer but never feels like it.

O: This is fantastic American made Belgian style beer. Good complexity and great mouthfeel like the best from Belgium have. I'll be buying this every Christmas as long as it's available.

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside De Ranke Père Noël.

A: Clear yellow with one-finger, white, fizzy head that lasted a minute or two. Okay lacing.

S: Belgian yeast and earthy spice.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Toasted biscuit and a tiny bit of spice. Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Not very smooth, but crisp, not dry, and no trace of alcohol.

O: The head and lacing were lacking, but everything else about this ale was pretty good. I liked this slighly better than the Père Noël.

Photo of larryi86
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Clear golden color with very smell white head.

S- Nice earthy spices, yeast, and bananas, could be strong, but very nice.

T- Follows the nose, again the taste be stronger, but it is nice. Nice malt backbone.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A nice beer at is enjoyable. I feel that if it was made stronger and had more flavor this could be a great beer. I will probably pick this up again.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale in color with no head to speak of. Very little carbonation. This beer looks tired.
Aroma is quite malty with Belgian yeast, spice and light fruitiness. Taste has a nice tropicial fruit taste followed by rich malts and yeast. Smooth but spritzy on the palette with a soft warming alcohol presence during the finish. Finish itself is semi dry.
A good tasting beer which I failed to mention has a sweet aspect too. I think this would be an excellent beer year round.

Photo of corby112
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a half finger white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lace left behind.

Slightly spicy aroma with a grassy, earthy hop presence, light fruit, alcohol phenol and pale malt. Peppery with some pine needle, apple and pear along with some bread and biscuit. All of these elements come together pretty well creating a pretty complex nose.

Medium bodied with a zesty spice presence that's countered by light fruit, bready yeast and biscuity malt. Some coriander up front followed by hints of apple and pear followed by a strong bread and pale malt character. The bready yeast and malt backbone add fullness to the palate but the ABV is well masked making this beer easy to drink. Not overly complex but a decent beer that's easy to drink.

Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 502 ratings.